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Topics: Career Development, Leadership
Cognitive versus Affective (i.e., emotional) Trust
We all understand that trust is a critical factor in the project environment. However, when the term is used, what type of trust is being referenced? Is it a trust that is emotionally driven, or one that is based on awareness of an individual’s qualities (e.g., reliability, dependability or competence) or somewhere in-between?

If your answer changes based on context, then please describe the situation you are addressing.
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On a professional level, trust is mostly based on awareness of an individual’s qualities while on a personal level, I believe it is mostly emotionally driver. This is my own opinion on this matter.
George -

My take is that when we don't know someone, it is emotionally driven based on our own biases, but for most people, once we get some empirical data we shift to it being based on that.

There are different kinds and levels of trusts. We start small. If our small amount of trust is substantiated, we start expanding and deepening it. I don't know that I can truly separate the affective vs cognitive portions of trust. There is always a bit of both.

Initially, in a project, we need to trust people or nothing will go forward. But the initial trust needs to build rapidly. The first basis will be on past experience, the links we make with other people (knowingly or not) and bias.

In my opinion in a project or corporate context, you build trust on an individual's qualities first.
T = f ( C + R + I )

Where T, Trust, and,
C, Competence, R, Reliability, I, Integrity

Hi George: For projects, I try to base trust on facts, but there is definitely a gut factor too. When based on facts, this is something that is built over time. I take other things into consideration such as experience, leadership qualities or reliability like William stated.

As far as the gut factor - sometimes I have had to look someone in the eye and make a quick decision on trust without so many facts. For example, giving a job to someone without experience, but I had no choice and had to make a quick decision for schedule purposes.

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"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world."

- Lucille Ball